Where To Go For Some Sun This October Half-Term…

Although we love the UK when the leaves start to turn, and it’s finally socially acceptable to get the fire going, we equally love the chance to get away at half-term and fit in a final blast of warmth before winter sets in. With that in mind we’ve rounded up our top picks for short-haul destinations which are warm, sunny and perfect for families this October half term. So, if you want inspiration of where to go for your half term family holiday, check out our list below:

1.Sicily, Italy

Average temperature in October: 21℃

Sicily’s intoxicating mix of Italian and North African influence is evident in everything from its incredible food to its beguiling architecture, but it’s the people we’re particularly fond of. Italians are notoriously family focused which leads to a naturally family-friendly holiday experience. Restaurants will welcome babes in arms with welcomes arms, and their relaxed pace of live is the perfect holiday vibe. Locals aside, there’s much to commend about Sicily. Families can while away a week or two exploring bustling and beautiful cities, pretty towns, hiking volcanos and seeking out picturesque beaches along the glittering island coastline.  

Top tip: Want to get the kids excited about their trip? Tell them in Italy it’s perfectly acceptable to eat ice cream for breakfast! Brioche con Gelato, Grazie!  

Where to stay: This stylish, family-friendly villa is located a short drive from Sicily’s golden triangle towns, including the famously foodie, Noto. Families can combine some sun, sea and culture with a half term trip to Sicily.

2. Cyprus

Average temperature in October: 22℃

Cyprus is a great option for a half-term beach holiday. Just over 4 hours flight from the UK, this Mediterranean island is located so far south-east it offers a similar climate to the middle east – perfect for families in search of some autumn sunshine! It has beautiful stretches of dramatic coastline, a choice of stylish, beachside accommodation options and a picturesque rural interior filled with pretty hillside villages, vineyards and mountainous scenery.

Top tip: Cyprus is rich in history and there are some fantastic places to take kids to discover it including Paphos castle, Paphos’ Roman ruins, and Tomb of the Kings.

Where to stay: We are particularly fond of The Almyra, which is a luxurious beach hotel on the Paphos coast. It has an excellent kids club, creche, ‘baby go lightly’ family concierge service & spa. It’s a great spot for a easy, resort holiday this October half term.

3.Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Average temperature in October: 18℃

France is often overlooked by families looking for some autumn sunshine, but with a toddler-friendly flight time of just 2 hours, the south of the country is a great option for a half term break. Pleasant and sunny in October, the Languedoc-Roussillon region has it all, from a scenic coastline to an array of pretty market towns and beautiful countryside. It’s particularly good for active families who will have no end to activities they can do, from kayaking to cycling, hiking to horse-riding, swimming to gorge-walking.

Top tip: Get a taste of African safari without the long flight, expense and early wake up call! Sigean Safari Park is open 365 days of the year and offers over 3500 animals for little ones to discover. The park is over 300 hectares, and the managers are committed to giving the animals a natural environment while conserving threatened species. It’s the perfect place for a family day trip and will give little ones the chance to see Cheetahs, Elephants, Lions, Bears and Chimpanzee’s to name but a few.

Where to stay: We love family-friendly chateau estate, Chateau Les Carrasses which offers a family-friendly bistro, spa, babysitting and a choice of child-friendly accommodation. For something smaller, we really love the stylish gite cluster Le Sarrail which is perfect for parents. Both are great for a luxurious, family holiday this October half-term.

4.Andalusia, Spain

Average October Temperature: 18℃

Southern Spain is a fantastic place for an autumn family holiday. The sun is still shining, the sea is clinging on to the residual warmth of summer and there’s a whole host of child-friendly beaches to choose from. Despite it being the home of Costal del Sol, there’s far more to Andalusia that resort towns filled with brits. If you look outside the tourist hotspots and you’ll find beautiful, rugged countryside, long swathes of quiet, sandy beaches and a whole host of attractive hillside towns and villages. For a culture hit, there’s the big hitters of Granada, Seville and Cordoba, but there’s also the often-overlooked Malaga, which has been nicknamed by those in the know a ‘pocket Barcelona’ and is rich is fantastic food spots, shops and galleries.

Top tip: Got any fans of ‘Spaghetti Westerns’ in the family? Well did you know, many of these were filmed in Cabo de Gata, Andalusia. Families can explore Europe’s only desert where the films were set and even visit ‘Mini Hollywood’ to check out the sets themselves.

Where to stay: Finca Vinuela is a fantastic, rural cluster of cottages in the Andalusian countryside. It offers a great play area, onsite restaurant and fantastic views. It’s laid-back, affordable, and perfect for a low-cost family holiday this October half term.

5.Crete, Greece

Average October Temperature: 20℃

The Greek Islands have always been a fantastic choice for a family holiday and Crete, Greece most southernly island is particularly good for an autumn get away. Rich is history with plenty of beautiful beaches, fantastic seaside tavernas and bustling cities to boot, there’s something for everyone on Crete. While we could easily spend a week holed up in a coastal village, backed by pine forests with the sea lapping in front of us and fresh calamari on tap from the local taverna’s there’s far more to this island that sun, sea and seafood.  Discovering Roman ruins in ancient mountain villages, hiking, horse-riding, paddle-boarding in sheltered coves or checking out one of the new hot, restaurants in the bustling harbour town of Chania, families won’t be short of things to do for entertainment during their family holiday.

Top tip: Now this one may not be kid-friendly, but we recommend scrapping the wine list and opting for a carafe of the Taverna’s house wine. It will come ice-cold, be as chip as chips, and believe me at that temperature, with the inevitable views of the sea and some salty olives on the side, you won’t really know or care if it is good or bad!

Where to stay: For a cool, contemporary family-friendly resort, we can’t think of many better than Domes Zeen, Chania. The rooms wouldn’t look amiss in the pages of Wallpaper magazine, and it offers fantastic food, an excellent kids club, creche, spa, and more. Families staying at half term can get a mix of relaxation, culture, hustle and bustle as Chania town is a very short taxi (or walk if little legs can handle it) away.

6.Malta

Average October Temperature: 22℃

Malta sits in the Mediterranean Sea between the Tunisian coast and Sicily, so is wonderful warm even in Autumn. In fact, it has a fantastically sunny climate, even in the middle of December you’ll get five hours of sunshine a day! So where better to head for some October half term sun!  The capital Valletta is right on the water and outrageously charming. Picture cobbled streets, sun-dappled squares, hidden wine bars, beautiful churches and honey-coloured forts. Outside of the cities ancient walls, families will find an array of sandy beaches, pretty fishing villages, beautiful countryside and unspoiled islands.

Top tip: The new passenger ferry from Gozo to Malta is quick enough for families to do a special dinner out somewhere new, whether travelling from Gozo to Valletta or if you’re staying in the city centre and fancy somewhere quieter.

Where to stay: Razzett Pepperina is a fantastic villa for families.  It’s on Gozo and offers a private pool and central village location with restaurants on the doorstep. It’s a great place for families looking for somewhere slightly off the beaten track this October half term.

7.Marrakech, Morocco

Average temperature in October: 22℃

With an average of 8 hours of sunshine a day and highs of 27 degrees in October, Marrakech is an ideal place to escape for a week of autumn sunshine. This bustling, busy and vibrant city is a world away from a drab and grey UK and can provide a wonderfully relaxed, family holiday destination. The colourful souks of the medina old town are a treasure trove of artisan products and hidden amongst the traditional market stalls, you’ll find an array of contemporary concept stores and designers. Restaurants are hidden behind ancient doorways and up on the rooftops or cossetted in a pretty courtyard garden, mint tea and pastilla in hand, you’ll feel a world away from the mayhem of the medina streets. Outside of the medina, families will find a cosmopolitan new town with a host of museums, galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Drive out towards the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and there’s a whole range of tranquil villas, luxury hotels and laid-back family run estates.

Top Tip: The countryside outside of Marrakech offers a whole range of activities. From sand sledging to skiing, white-water rafting to hiking. It’s a great destination for active families.

Where to stay: For indulgent luxury we’d opt for The Selman hotel, but our favourite place to stay must be Fawakay Villas which is a family run villa cluster located a short drive from Marrakech centre. It is family-run and offers delicious food, family activities, a picture-perfect pool and plenty of space to play.  It’s a great spot for a sunny, half term holiday with average highs getting as warm as 27 degrees.

For more ideas of where to go this October or a personalist shortlist of holiday ideas curated just for you, get in touch with Baby-Friendly Boltholes.

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By Baby-Friendly Boltholes